Monday, December 10, 2007

Sammy, The Beagle: Story 1

If purgatory, or something like it, exists, I’m sure that there is a special round reserved for me. It will be a dark place, jumping with fleas, steeped in dog urine, where the hot breath of an angry beagle burns the back of my calves and I hear a low, throaty growl as the dog’s lips curl back to reveal yellow canine teeth, crusty with tartar and leftovers from Taco Bell.


The dog has just rolled in his own stinkiness to get rid of the perfumed stinkiness of the “doggie spa” at PetSmart, where the blonde beagle has just had his coat gently massaged with hypoallergenic pet shampoo, and delicately rinsed with warm water, had his teeth brushed, his nails trimmed, and his ears cleaned and dried. Sammy: the overly pampered dog who hated pampering. He preferred to be on the hunt for rabbits, or simply standing in the middle of traffic, looking blankly at oncoming cars.

I never imagined myself to be a bad master, an overindulgent dog owner.

In fact, I assumed my “be free, live and let live” attitude was enlightened. Although somewhere in my heart of hearts I was guilty of what PETA claims is the crime of our age - acting as though other sentient beings exist simply to do our (humans’) bidding, and that somehow we humans are at the top of a Great Chain of Being of our own invention, when in reality, dogs are on top. No one openly acknowledges this, but it’s true. Once a person becomes dependent, emotionally on a pet, then it’s all over.

That dog owns you.
Photo: What Sammy would undoubtedly like to do to me if he ever encounters me in the afterlife...

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